Opening Ceremonies, Open Wounds

You gotta hand it to the Chinese. When it comes to spectacle, they’re the best in the world.

The Games of the XXIX Olympiad opened at 08:08:08 on 08/08/08 (did I mention that the number 8 is considered to be lucky in Asian cultures?) and it was the most interesting and visually stimulating opening ceremonies ever.

I can still see the 2,008 drummers all moving, yelling and striking their drums with the precision of a synchronized swim team. It was stirring entertainment.

And yes, you can fault the Chinese government for their controlling policies, their human rights deficiencies, and their virtual strangulation of Tibet.

But sometimes you’ve even got to give the devil its due for staging a spectacle that should have the organizers of the 2010 Winter  Olympics in Vancouver wondering what they can do for an encore.

Take my advice, Canucks, don’t even try. Go the complete opposite way — Neil Young, solo, on acoustic guitar.

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